High Bacteria Levels Closes Three Beaches

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White Haven, Carbon County– What’s a better way to cool off in this weather than with a little swimming? But people visiting local state parks to do just that, can’t.

Three area state park beaches are closed today due to high levels of bacteria in the water. As of now, swimming is not permitted at the Tobyhanna, Gouldsboro or Hickory Run State Parks.  It’s unusual to have that many beaches closed. 

Nancy Khomitzky’s grandkids wanted to swim. So she brought them to Sandy Spring Lake Beach at the Hickory Run State Park. But then they saw the sign. 

“The kids are upset we’re here at Hickory Run and the lakes closed”, said Nancy Khomitzky of Hellertown.

 The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources closed the beach to swimming. The lake is regularly tested for bacteria and usually passes. But this time, samples showed high bacteria levels in the water.

“it’s most likely the reason at Hickory Run from a high water event that washes material in from streams and the surrounding land”, said Chief Ranger David Fry.

 Chief Ranger David Fry says it’s important to take the warning serious, because someone can get sick. 

“This is a busy park, the beach is popular, and we certainly don’t like having to close down the beach. But it is for public safety”, he added.

 “I was like so sad, I really wanted to swim!” said Danielle Gordon of Weatherly. 

But not everyone heeded the warning.

“My grandkids and nephew didn’t go in the water, but there were people that were going in the water”, added Khomitzky.

Michael Henry and his family did go swimming.

“We went straight to the water, that’s what everyone does when they first come here”, he said.

 Until they saw the sign.

“When I seen the sign it was kind of shocking. It’s summer time, time for the kids to swim, you know?” Henry added.

 So, they found other ways to have fun instead. 

“There’s other little things we can do here. We could come up with little games and we got the grill. There’s always something to do!” said Henry.

 Other activities at Hickory Run State Park are still open, like hiking, fishing and camping.

“Hopefully we’ll have it open as soon as we can!” said Chief Ranger Fry.

 Swimming at Hickory Run will remain off limits until the bacteria count returns to acceptable levels. Ranger’s hope to have things back to normal within the next few days. Also, there is no word on when the Tobyhanna and Gouldsboro State Park beaches in Monroe County will reopen.

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